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Hazel

Time to ban crime novels?

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i was browsing in a newsagents last week at the magazine (the newsagent also replaces batteries in watches. my boss had sent me to get his watch battery replaced so while waiting rather than vacantly starring into nothing, i vacantly starred at the magazines). i noticed there were 5 different true crime magazines in the shop.

 

the sunday tabloids that my parents get generally also feature these true crime pullout feature magazines as well so banning crime novels is all well and good but it makes no difference as you have the actual true crimes things and such for people to go to. you have these documentaries on real crime and such

 

 

 


If crime novels, heavy metal, violent computer games and movies etc cause people to commit murder then why aren't there more murders. I've read plenty of crime novels and looking at my bookcase there are plenty still waiting to be read, my favorite tv show is Dexter and I've even listened to heavy metal and yet I've never been tempted to murder anybody.

People don't commit murder because of a book, tv show, computer game etc they do it because they want to and the media should stop looking for scapegoats and start blaming the criminals for their actions.

 

a friend of mine made the joke when we were in school that if any of us every did anything bad, just before hand remodel our rooms with posters of westlife

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OTOH, I have seen a crime novel author warning in his preface that he has purposefully altered a few details into scientific nonsense so that no one might use his book as a murder manual. Very sensible of him, I daresay.

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Hello Romanike, was wondering where you had disappeared to, haven't seen any posts from you for a while.  :)

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My apologies for coming into this a little late but, as a new member of the site, this threat intrigued me and I wanted to give my two pennies worth...

 

The way I see it is that, as human beings, we derive pleasure from anything that gives us an emotional reaction. That could be the warm feeling felt when witnessing truly loving moment, the cold fear of something genuinely scary or the repulsion we feel when we see something horrific. That's why we have long-term partners, it's why we watch horror films or ride roller coasters and why TV shows such as NCIS, Sons of Anarchy and Dexter are so successful.

 

Occasionally, someone talented enough will be able to pull those feelings out of us through writing or music.

 

The people who perpetrate violent crime are, generally, unable to control their feelings when confronted with the extremes that most of us derive pleasure from and it is my honest opinion that, even if film, music and literature were to be censored, their reactions would be manifest from things in everyday life, such as an argument or witnessing an accident.

 

Unfortunately, the general reaction of society is to look for a scapegoat, a reason for their actions that isn't just an acceptance that it's happened, as I believe that makes it easier to cope with the event. However, in reality, I feel it should be accepted that, occasionally, the human mind processes things in a different way to the 'norm' and, whilst I would never condone violent crime (or any crime, for that matter), I understand that it happens and I don't look for a reason beyond the criminal's psychology.

 

Basically, I think the only thing adult censorship achieves, is the reduction of pleasure for 'normal' people and, therefore, I will never agree with it.

 

(Before anyone possibly hits me with it, I do agree that there should be censorship for children, as their mental development is reliant on the information they take in and, until they are able to make an informed choice, the content of the things they are involved in should be monitored and tailored to be suitable for their age/maturity.)

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I agree with most of your points Alan but not the one on adult censorship. I believe that there is a need for adult censorship, pornography for example. I really don't need to see that anywhere at all as I go about my daily life and I don't think that it's normal. Extremes of violence are another thing that I think we can do without. I understand that times change and what was deemed indecent fifty years ago, for example Lady Chatterley's Lover, isn't deemed indecent now. However, I still think that some form of censorship is needed.

 

Banning Crime Novels is not going to achieve anything at all and the vast majority of readers, me included, do not go on to perpetrate the crimes that they read about.

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That's an excellent point, and I'd like to clarify that I don't mean everything should be everywhere at all times. Of course, there are things that some people like, but others don't, and there is an appropriate time and place for everything.

 

I don't see anything wrong with pornography and extreme violence, as long as the participants are both protected and willing to involve themselves in the activity (or it becomes something entirely different and unwelcomed!) and they should be available in the right places, if someone wants to access them (strip clubs, sex shows, boxing rings, pay-per-view, etc). Maybe having them behind closed doors is a form of censorship? If it is, then maybe I have to hold my hand up to being a hypocrite, as I agree with that?

 

I just strongly oppose the removal of free will, based upon the opinions of a select few rule-makers. (Strewth! How much am I sounding like some sort of revolutionary here?! Fight the power - except for when it benefits me, of course...)

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The willingness to participate is the key. It's still not to everyone's taste and there's a big difference between top shelf mags and hard core porn, which has been proven to disturb even adults who express a preference for it. I wouldn't class strip clubs or sex shows in the bracket I'm talking about but then never having seen either I can't actually say! I certainly wouldn't say that boxing was extreme violence and I've enjoyed watching a few bouts in my time, but there are DVDs in the house that are so violent that I can't watch them and these were legally bought. Everyone has their cut off point, though and there are certain levels of pron and violence that should be censored imho.

 

But I digress. I still don't think that Crime novels should be banned and that is the thread topic. New thread, Alan?

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Thanks for bringing this one back Alan. 

 

I think I am in the camp that's for censorship, but I'm never sure where the 'cut-off' point ought to be. 

 

Yes, we must censor material of any kind to protect children until they reach maturity to understand and handle some things, but up to what age?  Everyone matures differently.  Young people with learning difficulties of all kinds mature, generally speaking, later than those that do not.  And INHO there are some children who grow to an adult age and would appear not to act in a mature manner ever. 

 

Sadly, I think, it's those adults, who are not really fully adjusted to accept or refuse extremes of emotion in their intake of experiences, such as watching violence or pornography, that perhaps are affected most and need protecting from it for their sakes and that of everyone around them.  I like to think that they are a minority and that there ought not to be a ban on certain types of literature such as crime novels just because a minority are unable to cope with the content. 

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Books really aren't the issue. Banning is the issue. Whether it's books, walking sticks, soft drinks, or fish and chips, some people get a very real, visceral excitement from banning things  It's inevitable that specific books will make the list.

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